Broadcast from July 7th 1953 through November 1st 1956 on the CBS network.
21st Precinct was a very dramatic police drama. CBS decided to use New York City as the backdrop for this series and to focus on the happenings in an actual police precinct. The premise was to put the listener into the drama from the opening phone call until the final report was written.
The 21st was described as"just lines on a map of the city of New York. Most of the 173,000 people wedged into the nine-tenths of a square mile between Fifth Avenue and the East River wouldn't know if you asked them that they lived or worked in the 21st."The detail was made up of 160 patrolmen, eleven sergeants, and four lieutenants, under the command of one captain - Frank Kennelly. It was mentioned in each episode's closing that, "21st Precinct is presented with the official cooperation of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association an organization of more than 20,000 members of the Police Department, City of New York."
The Captain was the primary character and also acted as the narrator. Three actors played the Captain's role: Everett Sloane as Kennelly for the first 109 episodes and returned briefly in episode 135; James Gregory as Vincent Cronin for episode 109-144; and Les Damon as Thomas Keough starting in episode 145 through the remainder of the series. In supporting roles were Ken Lynch as Lt. Matt King and Harold Stone as Sgt. Waters. Santos Ortega appeared frequently as Lt. Patrick "Red" Gorman.
Ninety-two episodes are in circulation for this series. It is generally believed that they were all recorded off the air by one collector as they were broadcast; however, many episodes appear to have been circulating independently of one another in the early 1970s. Several dealer catalogs from that period list them for sale, stating 'dubbed from the original transcription disks'.
NOTE: Updated Release! New episodes (05-Mar-2013)
From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.